Research Into Homeopathy

Although more research into homeopathy is certainly needed, the balance of evidence already shows that treatment by a homeopath is clinically effective, cost-effective and safe, and this is borne out by the fact that most patients come to homeopathy through the personal recommendation of a friend or family member. One of the difficulties with scientific research into homeopathy is that because homeopathy is a holistic method of treatment, it isn’t possible to give the same remedy to all clients with one health condition. They are all individuals and will need individualised homeopathic treatment, and this fact is used in the design of most modern homeopathy research trials.

Some examples of the research evidence for homeopathy are listed below:

  • By the end of 2009, 142 RCTs (randomised controlled trials) of homeopathy had been published in peer-reviewed journals. In terms of statistically significant results, 74 of these trials were able to draw firm conclusions, and 63 of these were positive (patients given a homeopathic medicine improved significantly more than the control group who were given either an inactive placebo or established conventional treatment).
  • A service evaluation at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital recorded the outcome of homeopathic treatment in over 6,500 consecutive patients over a six-year period. At follow-up, 70% of patients reported an improvement in their health, including 50% who reported ‘major improvement’. Patients were referred by their GP or hospital specialist after conventional options had failed or because conventional treatment was contraindicated.
  • A study involving 3,981 patients looked at the long-term outcome for patients receiving homeopathic treatment in 103 German and Swiss primary care practices. The results showed that treatment by a homeopath led to marked and sustained improvements both in the severity of the disease and in quality of life.
  • A 500-patient survey at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital showed that many patients were able to reduce or stop conventional medication following homeopathic treatment, including 72% of patients with skin complaints.

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